United Kingdom economic growth picks up slightly in third quarter

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Gross domestic product (GDP) in the July-September quarter increased by 0.4% quarter on quarter, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The pound was up 0.36% per cent against the USA dollar to £1.3179 and 0.27% against the Euro to £1.1188 on Tuesday morning as news of the UK's better than expected growth broke.

This raises the prospect of an interest rate rise when the Bank of England meets on 2 November.

"The figure may also provide support to the Governor of the Bank of England who is looking to raise interest rates this year and a stronger United Kingdom economy should increase the likelihood of this happening". "That will clarify the impact of today's results on tax, on wages on the housing market and in the now extreme likelihood of a rate rise".

"Today's numbers seem to have increased the likelihood of an interest rate rise next week, with sterling gaining nearly half a cent against the dollar".

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The uptick in Q3 growth was largely driven by a firmer rise in manufacturing and business services & finance output.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said of the performance: "We have a successful and resilient economy which is supporting a record number of people in employment".

The expectation of a rate rise has pushed up swap rates - one of the factors that will determine how lenders price their fixed rates.

Azad Zangana, Schroders senior European economist agrees a rate rise is likely: "It is hard to see why the Bank of England would suddenly change its policy bias now and not raise interest rates in November".

"We continue to see the highest level of volatility from the office sector as many global firms now headquartered in the United Kingdom put decisions on hold over their long-term office space requirements".

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However he acknowledged there was nothing in this or other recent data that suggested the slowdown was in danger of turning into a recession or a shorter timetable for the expected interest rate rise.

The ONS added output from the services sector increased by 0.4%, the same rate as the previous three months and remained the largest contributor to GDP growth, while the manufacturing sector returned to growth. "The key uncertainty for the central bank is whether it will increase base rates any further in 2018".

Good morning. We're about to discover how well Britain's economy is performing in the face of Brexit uncertainty, rising inflation and persistently weak productivity.

After a number of years hovering around 1%, United Kingdom inflation now stands at 2.9% - the highest level since 2012.

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